by Caitlin Dougherty
Find an Office Near You: There are multiple Special Olympics offices around the country and the world. They need help all year long, not just around the Olympics. Find an office near you and find out how you can help. specialolympicsma.org
Become a Partner: Get matched up with an athlete who plays the same sport and together you can train, improve physical fitness, sharpen skills, challenge each other and most importantly have fun!
Become a Coach or Official: With so many different sports being in the Special Olympics, the athletes need coaches to train with. They also need Officials for each of the events.
Donate Your Skills: You can volunteer your skills! The Special Olympics has a program called the Healthy Athletes program. This program provides free health screens for every single athlete. If you are a health care professional and want to donate your skills, find the nearest office to find out more information.
Youth Volunteers: Volunteering isn’t just for adults. Students in high school and college can also volunteer at the Special Olympics.
Financial Contributions: You can support a champion and contribute to help that athlete reach his or her goal, or you can join an existing team and help the team raise money. You can also create your own personal fundraising campaign which allows you to invite friends and family to help.
Be a Fan: Volunteer to be a fan in the stands and cheer for all of the athletes competing. There are so many different programs all over the country to go and watch.
Polar Plunge: Each year in Virginia, the Special Olympics largest fundraiser takes place - The Polar Plunge. Individuals and teams take the plunge into ice cold water in the dead of winter. You can take the plunge yourself, hold towels or you can donate money to the teams participating.
Public Safety Personnel: One of the Special Olympics year round fundraising events is the Law Enforcement Torch Run. It is a great way for Public Safety Personnel to take part in a fundraiser in their own community. It also allows them to support local Special Olympics athletes.
If you are interested in volunteering your time or would like to offer financial support, these are great ways for you to be a part of the Special Olympics.